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ASCD Books for Teachers : A Professional Book Review

ASCD books

By: Conchita Teresa M. Olivares

Grading Smarter, Not Harder By Myron Dueck


Do the grades we assign to our students truly reflect the extent of their learning?” Questions like these and some issues surrounding grading will be clarified in this book, Grading Smarter, Not Harder.

The author, Myron Dueck, gives a detailed account of how and why he changed his approach to grading and assessing students. He reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how a teacher can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content. As Dueck puts it, “the most important relationship is the one that a student has with him – or herself as a learner”.

The book covers grading and explains that grades measure students’ knowledge without punishing them for factors outside their control. It examines the fairness and effectiveness of grading homework and assignments. It also offers practical strategies in designing and distributing unit plans that make assessment criteria crystal clear to students. Finally, it provides ways of creating a flexible and modular retesting system so that students can improve their scores on individual sections of important tests.

In this book, Dueck also shares reproducible forms, templates and real-life examples of grading solutions developed to allow students every opportunity to demonstrate their learning.


This title comes along with a good number of related professional books from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and other publishers. A list of new must-read for all teachers follows: (click on the image for the PDF link)

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Dueck, M. (2014). Grading smarter, not harder: Assessment strategies that motivate kids and help them learn. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Google images. Retrieved September 11, 2014 from https://www.google.com/images 

Grading Smarter, Not Harder. Retrieved September 11, 2014 from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/114003.aspx

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